independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Philippines: Complete destruction and still no sign of aid a week on Independent.ie discovers...

Children beg for water on the streets of the Philippines as destruction and devastation are now so widespread that many areas are yet to receive aid contrary to reports. Roads are covered with tree trunks, telephone polls and electricity cables as toddlers wander them naked.

Independent.ie visited three decimated towns in Northern Cebu today where entire villages have been rendered homeless and have received absolutely no aid whatsoever nor have they had any communication with the outside world since typhoon Yolanda struck last Friday. In some places we were the first outsiders to enter since the disaster hit.

We spoke to one man, Ray, who laughed at the hundreds of people lining the roads and highways of the island waiting for help with outstretched hands.

A wind speed of 300km per hour destroyed his whole town and they have only received a "few biscuits" in the last six days from local people. Ray's town is very lucky to have a fresh spring for water but they have almost no food and have a lot of babies and toddlers in their now homeless community.

Independent.ie found similar stories all around the north of Cebu province. Speaking to James Kelly, a Goal worker on the ground here, he said that even in Haiti, aid arrived in much quicker. He cites the "widespread" nature of the destruction as the reason why thousands of people are still to receive any help.

Homes are unrecognisable as entire villages were flattened by the typhoon and in the whole country up to a million are now feared homeless. Heavy rains are expected for the month of December but the thousands of people in Northern Cebu will have no shelter if some kind of aid doesn't arrive soon.

Goal assessed parts of the region today and met with local leaders on the ground to establish their needs. Goal has received over €50,000 in donations from Irish people since they launched their appeal and have put a structure in place to meet the surge in donations.

Aid has began arriving into Tacloban, the worst hit part of the Philippines. It's impossible to get there save by military air craft and insurgent groups have attacked trucks trying to enter the city.

Decimated buildings in the Philippines

Irish Independent

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